A three-month investigation conducted by CNN has found what appears to be a serious loophole in the
nation’s air cargo security program – specifically as it relates to trucks and
An unnamed Federal Aviation Administration inspector told CNN that little has changed in the way of
cargo security since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In fact, the
inspector said that, on most of the flights he has observed, almost none of the
cargo was inspected.
“Cargo still has a lot of loopholes where something could get on an
airplane,” he said.
During their investigation, CNN staff traveled to airports around the country and found plenty of loopholes,
including cargo containers left unattended and unattended trucks with their
cargo doors left wide open.
At the U.S. Postal Service Chicago International/Military Service
Center at O’Hare International Airport, they found gates unlocked and left
open. The news organization took a camera crew in to inspect containers. Nobody
questioned what they were doing.
Jim Ruck, public affairs director for the Postal Service’s Chicago
region, told CNN that the Postal
Service doesn’t consider the area to be a security risk and that security
cameras at the facility are not regularly monitored.
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration told CNN that the agency screens shippers
through its known-shipper program. The program requires airlines and carriers
to go through a series of procedures to identify shippers so they are not
receiving shipments from unknown entities.
TSA has 200 federal inspectors nationwide, but their job is to make
sure the airlines are following the rules, not to inspect any cargo.